It’s safe to say that if you’re reading this article, you are interested in improving your body, your life and your fitness lifestyle. I’m writing this article because of the tremendous volume of email I’ve had recently surrounding healthy foods that most people just aren’t thinking about. Whether it’s a really healthy food option that we often overlook or whether it’s a food we eat often but probably shouldn’t, I wanted to put a little information out there for you to “digest” and give some thought.
1. Almond Milk – a fitness game-changer
What a cool food! It’s milk! It’s good for you (the kind without added sugar) and it compliments so many other foods. I love this stuff! Finally, we can mix our protein powder in something other than water! If you’re a cereal junkie and just have to eat some, almond milk is an awesome substitute for dairy milk which can lead to gas and bloating in many people. If you haven’t tried almond milk yet, just do it! Look for the unsweetened, plain almond milk options in your grocery store and give it a try.
2. Farm Raised Salmon – Love fish! I’ll take mine without the poop and cancer
We’ve always been told that salmon is a healthy food. I would tend to agree if you ensure the salmon is raised by nature and not in a scientific aqua-lab. Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers (feathers that are heated and pressurized). As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens (these cause cancer), PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. If you don’t know what those are, trust me…they’re bad news!
DDT dangers – what science says
PCB dangers – this is fed to farmed fish
Dioxin dangers – not suitable for humans
The most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, and are commonly found on American menus. Research shows that you can only eat one farmed salmon meal every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer. That’s CRAZY! Eat more than one farmed salmon meal and you increase your risk of cancer? Wow! Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When eating farmed salmon, you are ingesting the same drugs and chemicals they are eating. Avoid this crap at all costs! NOTE: If it says, “Atlantic” or “Norwegian”, it’s farmed. If salmon is truly “wild”, the package will say “wild caught”.
3. Plums – over 2,000 years of antioxidant protection
Plums are a truly ancient fruit. There were over 300 varieties of plum identified during the rise of the Roman Empire. That should tell you that this is a food we were meant to eat. Tasty, nutritious and easy to carry with you, plums are a great option for that daily sweet snack or to perfectly compliment that quick snack between meals. Don’t overlook this food choice, it’s definitely worth assimilating into your regular menu.
4. Red Beans (Kidney Beans)
If you hang out with me enough, you’ll certainly hear me rave about the fact that the kidney bean is one of the most nutritious beans around. In New Orleans it’s a staple on the menu, but in other parts of the country is not so easily found. Preparation is the key to keeping them healthy, but this bean is tasty, filling and satisfying no matter how it’s cooked. Red Beans have tons of dietary fiber, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron and protein. On top of all the goodness found in the kidney bean, it’s still one of the cheapest foods available. It’s tops in my opinion.
5. Blackstrap Molasses – treat your sweet tooth right!
One of the oldest sweeteners that can still be found. I’m a local honey (only buy local honey please) lover also, but blackstrap molasses has an amazing taste and makes those holiday cookies and cakes taste so good. I recommend looking for the type that is made form organic sugar cane and is “unsulfured” as some people have allergic reactions to the sulfur-containing type. This stuff is really great, it’s tried-and-true, inexpensive and hits the spot when you need a little something sweet without completely going off the deep end. Oh! I almost forgot! Check out it’s nutrition facts as well, they are pretty interesting. Blackstrap molasses is high in Iron, Manganese, Potassium, Copper, Calcium and B6. Give it a try!
So there you have it! 4 foods most of us overlook that are absolutely wonderful additions to your healthy menu and 1 food (farm raised salmon) that is often found on our plates but can have really nasty health consequences. My 1st place vote goes to the plum! It’s an awesome snack choice anytime, anywhere!
All the best to you my friends.
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